Why The Optimist make up makes a difference

April 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

This morning I didn’t want to get out of bed when my alarm went off. Still, I had stuff to do so I forced myself awake, showered, ate breakfast while reading about the Serbian conflict of 20 years ago and shed a tear, brushed my teeth, and put on The Optimist make up. I still wanted to go back into my warm bed but I had to leave.

As I walked to my bus, a man smiled at me but he had some bags with him, I suspected him of wanting to convert me to being a Jehovah’s Witness. I gave a half smile and hurried on.

I said good morning to the bus driver and more people than usual seemed to look at me on the bus when I got on.

At the tube station, the station lady stared at me as I walked past, and I smiled at her. I see her often at the station and we’ve spoken about tickets a couple of times. She didn’t smile back. The tube staff aren’t that friendly.

As I got on the train, a man stared at me. I sat down on the free seat next to him, and two old ladies opposite me smiled vaguely at me. Then I remembered I had The Optimist make up on, which includes bright red lipstick, and I realised why everyone was staring at me. I smiled back at the old ladies, and remembered I could interact more with strangers with this make up on and they would be ok about it.

I just missed the next train I had to get, and as a lady inside the train caught my eye, I shrugged and smiled, and she smiled back amusedly. I felt free.

Usually I do remember when I’ve put The Optimist make up on, but today I suppose I got out of the wrong side of bed and forgot about getting into character. However, people are treating me differently because of how I look, so their reactions are reminding me that I can be a well-being superhero. I can interact with strangers and it will be socially acceptable. And if I can do that, I can also do more superhero activities too, such as cheering people up and even helping people in need, such as that time I helped rescue a stiletto heel from an escalator in Holborn station for a tourist.

Even if I started out slightly grumpy, how other people treat me can make me change my behaviour. They treat me differently because I have made myself look different. I want to live up to their expectations. When people have expectations of me, it’s more easy to make the choice to aim to fulfill those expectations. They seem to expect someone with red lips to be very confident and extroverted. Extroverts interact more with others.

Making myself look bold with make up so that others have different expectations of me works well, but up to a point. If I’m in a terrible mood for actual reasons that I need to deal with, it doesn’t work. I feel like a fraud dressing up as a superhero in those circumstances. Thankfully, I’m in a life situation now where I don’t have that many negative life issues to deal with.
The make up does also work by helping me think about being a superhero when I put it on, but that bit isn’t the only reason. It’s about other people treating me differently, giving me a license to behave more extroverted. More interactions with people improve well-being.

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